Is Martinez set for Everton exit?
Roberto Martinez future as Everton boss remains in doubt with the bookies speculating as to who may replace the Spaniard. Following defeat in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend to Manchester United, Everton's season is effectively over with the club set for a mid-season finish in the Premier League.
After taking over from David Moyes in 2014, Martinez led the Toffee's to hugely impressive fifth place finish during his first season in charge. His brand of football was considered a fresh, attacking approach to the pragmatic style of David Moyes and recorded the club's record points haul in the Premier League, finishing with a grand total of 72. Things were not so successful last time out when the club could only manage an 11th place finish although they were able to make it to the last 16 in the Europa League. This season has also brought another disappointing league campaign with the club languishing in 11th place once more.
The Wembley defeat to Manchester United ended any chance of silverware and despite a talented core of players including John Stones, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, the club have underperformed. Whilst there has been nothing official to suggest Martinez will depart, many fans have grown frustrated at the club's lack of progress and reports are mounting that he and the club will part company at the season's end.
Whilst there is no clear frontrunner at present, the bookies have outgoing Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini as the favourite. The Chilean will be replaced by Pep Guardiola in the summer and in the past it has been suggested he would like to continue managing in the Premier League. The Everton job would allow him to remain in the north west and would also be an impressive appointment for the club given his c.v. He is offered at a best priced 3/1 with Paddy Power to fill any potential vacancy at Goodison Park.
David Moyes has been linked with a return to the club whom he left for Manchester United in 2014 and can be found at a best price of 5/1 with BetVictor. After an unsuccessful spell at Old Trafford and subsequently with Real Sociedad in Spain, Moyes' stock has dipped since leaving Everton. He has also been linked with the vacancies at Aston Villa and Celtic although a return to Goodison may be his preferred option.
Tabloid reports this week suggested that Stoke boss Mark Hughes is the club's preferred option. Hughes has transformed the Potters into a vibrant, attacking outfit and has also enjoyed success with Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham in the top half of the Premier League. Hughes had a short spell at the club during his playing career and is priced at 10/1 with Paddy Power to replace Martinez.
Other names linked with Goodison Park hot-seat include Marcelo Bielsa, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and Southampton's Ronald Koeman.